What are You Doing?
By Todd Tribble
How many times has someone tried to tell you what your future will be? It happens all the time when you are a teenager. Teachers, guidance counselors, parents, friends, grandparents and youth ministers all seem to have the perfect plan that is going to make you happy. They will sit you down, point out all of your positive attributes, and then gently give you a look at your weak points. Then they begin to push and nudge you in the direction that they think will make you the most successful. They mean well … but what about your ideas?
What happened to looking in the mirror and wanting to be something?
What happened to dreams?
I had a teacher in high school named Mr. Fischer, and he taught social studies. I used to love his class because he would ask the same question each day:
"What are you going to do today so that tomorrow means something?"
What a great question! The answer is open, with the possibilities being as endless as a rainbow. He would stand in front of the class, stare you in the eyes, and challenge you to dream. He wasn't interested in telling you what to do. No … he wanted to make sure that each of us grasped the idea of utilizing our gifts to the fullest. He would make grand points about how the mistakes of yesterday actually shaped the victories of tomorrow. He would stand you up and tell you that life is short, so get out there and live …now … not tomorrow … now.
I have carried those teachings throughout my life and have often fallen back on his voice in times of question.
With that being said … let me pose a question for you.
What are your gifts? What has God given you that is different than everybody else? What talent is lying inside of you just waiting to burst onto the scene?
We just celebrated New Years, and all the talk was about what we are supposed to change in the coming year. What things did we do last year that we should make sure we never do again? We must change so that we might fit into society's mold. We walk through the halls and try to make sure that we have the right friends, clothes, music and hairstyle. There are schools full of teenagers who have different world-changing talents and we're worried about …….. our hair?
Forget the superficial for a second, and go look in the mirror. That person staring back is a God-given gift to this planet and we need to know what you want to do!
Are you good at art, music, sports, chess, mechanics, reading, writing, sleeping…. The list goes on. Do you enjoy listening to people, or are you a talker? Would you rather travel the world, or are you a homebody? Does blood make you sick, or do you have a curious fascination with the human anatomy?
What gets you excited?
God does not put people onto this earth to go on vacation. He puts us here with separate talents and convictions so that we might interact and help one another through this crazy journey. He also does not put an age limit on when you can change the world. There are no verses in the Bible that state that you must be 21 before you can add to this place. This planet needs you! We need your ideas, plans, talents, visions-and we need them now.
It is very easy to get caught up in the notion that we all must dress, talk and eat alike. I challenge all of you to get out and show this world what God has given you.
What road has God put you on?
What are you doing today so that tomorrow means something?
Todd Tribble is a 32-year-old youth minister at Hopeful Lutheran Church in Florence, KY. He has been writing for the last year and is a regular contributor to FaithWriters' Magazine, as well as other Christian publications. He finds writing to be an exciting venture and hopes people can draw strength from it. Todd also writes for his blog at www.perfection-is-overrated.blogspot.com. If you would like to write to Todd, you can do so via through the Letters page of this magazine.